Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This question already has an answer here:

I know that on 32 bit system max number of memory cells in RAM is 2^32. But RAM in my computer show not exactly this size. Can someone explain why on 32 bit system size of RAM not equal max size of cells but varies(3.2 - 3.6 Gb)?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by mpy, ncdownpat, Mokubai, Simon Sheehan, Moses Oct 30 '13 at 1:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Where are you getting that max-ram information? Is this a Windows machine and you are viewing the Computer properties page? –  Áxel Costas Pena Oct 29 '13 at 12:02
@user2135931 - What operating system are we talking about? Required reading before you reply to my question: superuser.com/questions/52275/… –  Ramhound Oct 29 '13 at 12:43
see superuser.com/questions/27086/… for your answer –  Frozen Flame Oct 29 '13 at 12:49
32-bit systems can have more than 2^32 "memory cells". Memory is addressed in bytes, not "memory cells", so that gets you to 4 GB. Physical address extension allows more than 4 GB, though often only the OS will have all memory available to it, and individual applications will have a maximum of 4 GB assigned to them. –  wingedsubmariner Oct 29 '13 at 13:28

1 Answer 1

Two obvious possibilities come to mind:

  1. Your 32-bit system supports 4 GB, but you haven't actually installed that much memory.
  2. Windows reports less than 4 GB available, because some of the main memory has been reserved for use by the integrated graphics.
share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.